Love Letter #126: Harmony in a Discordant World

I love to sing and sing in harmony with other humans. If you’ve been here a while, you know that singing is a form of prayer for me. I have a long playlist of affirmative, uplifting, and powerful lyrics that I listen to often. 

As I listened this morning to singer and songwriter David Roth​ giving a sermon in song at the spiritual center, I started thinking about how we can create harmony in a discordant world. When everything around us looks inharmonious, how do we bring ourselves into harmony? 

Life is lived from the inside out. Meaning what we want to see in the world must begin with us. If I want peace, I must become that. If I want love, connection, or harmony, I must be those things. 

This all sounds great until someone does something that triggers anger or frustration within us. Or we hear a piece of news that seems to indicate the world is, indeed, going to hell in a handbasket. 

But what if we pull back, and take a broader look? This means recognizing that everyone is operating from their own perspective, shaped by their unique experiences, beliefs, and values. 

Even when someone’s actions seem misguided or harmful, it’s important to acknowledge that they likely believe they are doing what is right based on their understanding of the world. 

This doesn’t mean condoning harmful behavior, but rather seeking to understand the underlying motivation and circumstances that lead people to act in certain ways. By cultivating empathy and compassion, we can begin to see beyond the surface judgments and engage with others in a more constructive and transformative way. 

In doing so we open the door to dialog and the possibility of creating a more harmonious world where differences are respected and conflicts are resolved with understanding and empathy. 

And, we can begin to see these discordant moments as opportunities to practice bringing ourselves back into harmony.

It’s in these moments of challenge that our commitment to embodying peace, love, or harmony truly shines. It’s easy to be loving when everything is going smoothly, but it’s in the face of adversity that our true character is revealed. 

When someone triggers anger or frustration within us, it’s a chance to pause and reflect. Why did their actions affect me so deeply? What would within me is being touched? What need is wanting to be met? 

By exploring these questions with compassion and self-awareness, we can begin to heal those wounds and cultivate a greater sense of inner harmony. More inner harmony leads to greater outer harmony. As within, so without. 

Similarly, when we’re bombarded with distressing news or faced with seemingly insurmountable problems in the world, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. But instead of sinking into despair, we can choose to respond with empathy, compassion, and a commitment to positive change. 

Just as singing in harmony with others requires listening deeply, adjusting our pitch, and finding our unique voice within the ensemble, creating harmony in the world requires us to listen deeply to ourselves and each other. It requires that we adjust our attitudes and actions to align with our deepest values and aspirations. 

This doesn’t mean we don’t have to take action towards what we want to see, but action taken from alignment is more meaningful and inspired than action taken from discord. 

So, today, I invite you to continue singing songs of peace, love, and harmony within ourselves and the world. Even amid discord, we have the power to create beautiful music together. 

In the ‘early 1970’s there was a pop song with these lyrics: “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.” I love this song, the lyrics, and the intention. But, before we can teach the world to sing in harmony, we first must learn ourselves. 

With love, 

Scroll to Top